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World - Hamas rejects Gaza truce unless blockade lifted

Doha (AFP) - Hamas Wednesday rejected a ceasefire to end 16 days of deadly fighting with Israel unless the blockade on the Gaza Strip is lifted, its chief Khaled Meshaal said in Doha.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  20:17


World - UN chief again urges immediate end to Gaza violence

UN chief Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call on Wednesday for Israel and Hamas to end the violence in Gaza, where bloodshed has cost more than 700 lives. My message has always been consistent and strong, this violence must stop now,` Ban told a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman. Ban said an Egyptian truce proposal that was accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas was `very good`. US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said global efforts to end 16 days of bloodshed in Gaza were progressing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  18:18


World - Kerry says `some progress` in Gaza truce efforts

Washington`s top diplomat said global efforts to end 16 days of bloodshed in Gaza were progressing Wednesday as the fighting raged on and airlines suspended flights over rocket fears. As US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN chief Ban Ki-moon held talks in Jerusalem, they appeared cautiously optimistic, saying they had pooled their efforts in the hope of boosting the quest for a truce in a conflict that has claimed 678 lives in Gaza and 32 in Israel. `We have certainly made some steps forward, but there is still work to be done,` Kerry said as he met the UN chief for the second time this week. `We have in the last 24 hours made some progress in moving toward that goal,` Kerry said after meeting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, before heading to Tel Aviv for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  16:31


World - Tunisia faces dilemma in anti-jihadist campaign

Tunisia has hit back at a deadly jihadist attack on troops by closing mosques and media outlets seen as sympathetic to extremists, raising fears of a return to the censorship of the old regime. In the wake of a July 16 attack which left 15 soldiers dead in Mount Chaambi near the Algerian border, the authorities have laid down a `red line` against criticism of the army and police. It has also decided to shut down unlicensed media outlets which had `turned into platforms for takfiris and jihad,` referring to apostasy charges against fellow Muslims. Hailed as the poster boy of the Arab Spring -- the wave of uprisings that swept the region from 2011 -- the authoritarian regime of Tunisia`s longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in a popular uprising that year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  12:02


World - Kerry says `some steps forward` made in Gaza conflict

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that diplomacy to end the Gaza bloodshed has made progress, but warned more time was needed. `We have certainly made some steps forward, but there is still work to be done,` Kerry said in Jerusalem as he started a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Kerry flew into Tel Aviv from Cairo on Wednesday -- despite US warnings over airline safety after a Hamas rocket landed near Ben Gurion airport -- as global concerns mount over rising body count in the 16-day conflict in Gaza. Kerry, who declined to elaborate further on the shape of diplomatic efforts, is due to meet later Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  11:35


World - Kerry says making some progress in Gaza truce efforts

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday some progress had been made in efforts to bring an end to 16 days of fighting between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas. `We have certainly made some steps forward. There is still work to be done,` Kerry said shortly after arriving in Jerusalem for a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He declined to give any details. (Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; writing by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Crispian Balmer)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  11:07


Europe - Dutch Plane Carrying Malaysia Airlines Jet Victims Leaves Ukraine

The plane, carrying 16 bodies, is the first in what will be a long series of flights to repatriate those killed when the jet was downed last week.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  10:54


World - Plane with first coffins of Malaysian airliner victims leaves Ukraine

A Dutch air force transport plane carrying the first 16 coffins with the remains of victims of the downed Malaysian airliner took off on Wednesday from an airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv for the Netherlands. Honorary guards placed wooden coffins on the plane after a short and somber ceremony held on the tarmac before it took off. All 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 perished when it was brought down last Thursday over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is struggling to quell a pro-Russian separatist rebellion. Russia has blamed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for the crash because he refused to extend a ceasefire with the separatist fighters.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  10:41


World - Gaza rocket halts Israel flights as foes resist truce efforts

Airlines blocked flights to Israel Wednesday after a Gaza rocket struck near airport runways, as the UN chief urged an end to a conflict that has killed 639 Palestinians and 31 Israelis. As the violence entered its 16th day, neither Israel or Islamist movement Hamas appeared willing to end hostilities, despite days of diplomatic efforts to coax them into a truce. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to Tel Aviv, appealed on Tuesday for the bitter rivals to `stop fighting` and `start talking.`.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  05:08


Top Stories - Massive Washington wildfire only 16% contained

Cooler air and rain expected to help firefighters; lightning might trigger new blazes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  01:37

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